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"Gay8 Festival" Largest Hispanic LGBTQ Festival In U.S. Kicks Off in Little Havana

LGBTQ - "Gay8 Festival" Largest Hispanic LGBTQ Festival In U.S. Kicks Off  in Little Havana

Festival scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 with new components, including international human rights symposium

Organizers of the Gay8 (GayOcho) Festival will gather with hosts and sponsors to celebrate the 2019 Gay8 Festival. The festival returns for its 4th consecutive year on Sunday, February 17, 2019 during President’s Day weekend. The largest of it’s kind in the U.S., attendance for 2019 is slated to surpass the 60,000 that turned out in 2018. Revelers will again enjoy a one-of-kind experience that welcomes all in the LGBTQ community, their allies, and the rich, vibrant Hispanic and Latino communities in South Florida and beyond.

“We originally set out to create an event that brought the different South Florida communities together and the results speak for themselves,” said festival co-founder Damian Pardo. “Gay8 Festival is now the undisputed largest Hispanic LGBTQ event in the U.S.”

Gay8 Festival will continue to feature a number of events surrounding the street festival – including dance parties, food tastings, free film showcase, cigar tastings, a doggie village and roaming performers – while also adding an LGBTQ international human rights symposium at the University of Miami. “Given the current climate faced by the LGBTQ community in some parts of the Americas, we felt it was important to provide a forum for leading human rights activist from South Florida, Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada to convene, share experiences and organize,” explained symposium organizer Lynare Robbins.

Leading up to the festival, the 4Ward Gala will be take place on Feb. 13 at the Bacardi headquarters in Coral Gables. The event will be the setting for the 2019 Pa’Lante Awards Ceremony, where pioneers who have demonstrated outstanding civic engagement will be honored.

New at this year’s festival is a historic collaboration between Stonewall National Museum & Archives and the National Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, where both will explore the plight of the LGBTQ community in Cuba and in exile.

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